Every Quilt Has a Story
In my family, quilts are a big deal. Graduations, baby births, and pure love. I’ve been sharing the quilt made for my youngest son as I travel around the country, giving talks, doing book signings for A Healing Heart, and sharing time with new fan friends.
Recently, I’d driven over four hours to Lewiston, Idaho to coach other authors on a Friday night and then chat with readers on Saturday. But God had a totally different weekend in mind. Yes, I did the author coaching event. Yes, I did chat with readers. Then a woman came into the store and announced she was my cousin-by-marriage, Anna Carter.
At 81, her memory was better than mine. Stunned, I listened to her recall visiting my home in 2001 for a couple of hours as her family passed through. She described the dinner, the special tea I made, and the beautiful drive through the Montana mountains where I live. Her maiden name was my married name. Her dad was my father-in-law’s brother. We visited for quite a long time. This lovely cousin-by-marriage re-entered my life because the store had marketed my appearance. I delighted in the special gift of relationship God had in store for this day.
But God wasn’t finished! He brought another octogenarian lady to see me. She’d been sent by an author friend who lived in a completely different state. My friend, on hearing I’d be appearing in Lewiston, called her mother-in-law, Verna. She gave a glowing referral, and Verna came. Delighted again at the unusual circumstances, Verna joined Anna and I. Silently I thanked God for His special treats in these book-loving ladies.
But that’s not all! (I know, I know. I just couldn’t resist.) A young writer I’d coached at a conference two years in a row showed up to have me sign her copy of A Healing Heart. Brooke told me she’d already read it twice. Twice! She could have picked me up off the floor. To be a writer that someone wants to read is an honor. To be a writer someone admires enough to read twice? I can’t even find the right word to encompass how my heart lifted! Again, I said thank you to God for the encouragement in my writing life.
But wait! That’s not all! (I know, this is just getting unbelievable, isn’t it?) Just down the sidewalk from the Christian bookstore a Bernina Sewing Center had a specialized memory quilt class. When they found out I had a memory quilt on display for my chat and book signing, they invited me to show my quilt and book to the class of 54! Suddenly a huge room of ladies who love quilting were exposed to Christian fiction. The leader then invited me to come to Portland to be part of a special weekend built around my novel, A Healing Heart, and making memory quilts. We’ll introduce an entirely new group of quilters to Christian fiction! What an awesome honor to be someone entrusted with that opportunity.
What I thought was a simple visit to a bookstore turned into an amazing experience! As an author, I’m blessed that Christian bookstores exist. But as a person, my life is enriched through the relationships built at Christian bookstores. I’m so grateful to have the ability to visit so many. So yes, every quilt has a story; but this story’s memories are still being quilted by God as I travel.
I’m looking forward to the International Christian Retail Show in St. Louis and hoping to meet more bookstore folks. Thank you, bookstore owners and staff. You make my life special because of what you do.
Angela Breidenbach is a captivating speaker, coach, and the author of A Healing Heart, April 2013 from Abingdon Press in the Quilts of Love series, Gems of Wisdom: For a Treasure-filled Life (women’s Bible study & small group book), Creative Cooking for Simple Elegance, and Creative Cooking for Colitis. She is certified in mentor/peer counseling as a CTA life coach, as a Stephen Minister, and a weight loss/nutrition coach. She’s owned by #Muse, the dog-like cat, whose antics can be found on facebook or twitter regularly. http://www.AngelaBreidenbach.com
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/AngelaBreidenbachInspirationalSpeakerAuthor